I love baking, it’s one of my favorite things to do, like dancing and running. When I run, I think of some of the most fun things to make for my blog and usually it involves baking. Baking cake is something I adore because to me, it feels therapeutic – maybe it’s the measuring of ingredients, or the sound of the mixer working its magic, it’s probably all of those things.
Citrus season is in full bloom and I have a ton of lemons, and I think it’s important to use ingredients that you have on hand, so they don’t go to waste. Lemon is an ingredient my family truly enjoys, and baking a cake with a little lemon involved will be greatly appreciated around my house. Poppy Seeds and Lemon are a classic combination, but this time I wanted to throw something new into the mix, blackberries? Ah yes, blackberries go nicely with lemon and I see them everywhere right now – fresh or frozen – they always tend to be at a good price.
The creamy yellow center cake flecked in black with a lower dark purple hue looks quite impressive after being baked. The combination of flavors are pretty great too – citrus, sweet berries with a seedy texture that pleases the palate – all it needs is a little meringue.
I decided to pile on a Swiss Meringue because it’s sweet and creamy and billows above the loaf like a cloud on a mountaintop and who doesn’t love meringue? It’s my interpretation of lemon meringue pie, but it’s a cake. You can slice and serve this dessert after dinner or for a snack in the late afternoon with a cup of hot tea. This recipe makes two loaf cakes, so you can give one away and really make someone’s day – that’s what I like to do.
8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
zest of 2 lemons + juice of 1 lemon
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons Poppy Seeds
1 cup blackberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tarter
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Makes 2 Loaf Cakes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 loaf pans, set aside.
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, cream together butter, oil and sugar for 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and mix on high for 3 minutes. Add lemon zest and juice and mix again for 1 minute.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mix on low for 30 seconds. Add milk and sour cream and mix on low for 1 minute. Fold in poppy seeds and blackberries by hand.
- Remove bowl from stand and spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until deep golden brown on top and toothpick comes clean. Remove and let cool in pans for 40 minutes.
- In a bain marie, or pan on top of a pan with simmering water – add egg whites, sugar, cream of tarter and salt. Stir until egg mixture is hot, about 170 degrees or hot to touch.
- Pour hot egg mixture into a stand mixer or large bowl and whisk on high for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and continue to whisk for 3 minutes, or until meringue is light and fluffy.
- Pile meringue on top of cooled cakes and smooth out on top with fluffy peaks. Toast cakes under broiler or with a blow torch, if desired. Slice and serve or store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Enjoy!